Shark Navigator vs Rotator: Which Upright Vacuum is the Best?

If you are in the market for a new upright vacuum, you have probably heard of the Shark Navigator and Shark Rotator. These two vacuums are some of the most popular upright models ever built. These vacuums are suitable for home use and are budget-friendly. They both have sub-variants with different specs.

Shark Navigator is an excellent option with its larger dustbin and lower price point. The Rotator is better if you’re looking for a stylish design and helpful features. Both vacuums have dual functionalities and can be used as upright and as handheld vacuum cleaners.

So, which one should you buy? In this blog post, we will compare the features of the Shark Navigator and Shark Rotator Pro lift-away models and help you decide which is right for you!


Aesthetically, the Shark Navigator vs Rotator is not very different. They both have a similar body style. You can use them as an upright or remove the canister to use it as a lift-away canister vacuum. They are about the same size and weight, although the Rotator is slightly heavier. The Navigator is about 14 pounds, and the Rotator is 15.5 pounds. The Rotator has some extra features that make it a little more advanced, like a brush or indicator light and LED headlights.

Cleaning Performance

The shark navigator and Rotator were tested against different floors and debris types. The Shark Navigator scored 85%, while the Rotator scored 87% overall. The one key thing that I noted was they both did great on the tests but struggled a bit with large debris, especially on thick carpets.

Low-pile rugs99%
thick carpets60%
Average85% *average
Navigator overall cleaning result snap
Low-pile rugs96%
thick carpets71%
Average87% *average
Rotator overall cleaning result snap

Both the models performed well on hard floors, the Navigator scored 96% for large debris, and the Rotator scored 94%.

Regarding low pile carpets, both models cleaned up almost all the debris. However, they had some trouble with ultra-fine trash like rice. Some people may need to go over areas multiple times to clean all the acceptable debris. The Navigators scored a 99% on low carpets, and the Rotator scored a 96%.

We saw a clear advantage from the Rotator over the Navigator when cleaning high pile carpets. They both struggled with large debris, but the Rotator was able to clear 71% of waste on high carpets compared to Navigator’s score of 60%. I wouldn’t say that the Rotator or Navigator are exceptional regarding high pile carpets. However, given their price points, I think their cleaning performance is still acceptable.

It depends on your needs if you’re trying to decide between the Shark Navigator and the Shark Rotator. The Navigator will probably be OK if you have a lot of hardwood floors. But if you have a lot of carpeting, you might want to consider the Rotator.

Tip: Learn more about the shark rotator powered lift-away upright vacuum in our performance review and how does it perform?


The Shark Navigator and Rotator come with a brush to clean the heads and other attachments for different surfaces. The Navigator comes with a crevice tool, an upholstery tool, and a pet power brush. The most common configuration of the Rotator comes with a crevice tool, an upholstery tool, and a dusting brush. It is important to note that the specific accessories included can vary depending on the particular sub-model, retailer, variations, and other specialized variants.

These Shark vacuums have a flexible hose that can be used with attachments to clean hard-to-reach areas. The best part is the lift-away design. The canister can be lifted off the base and carried to where you want to clean. You can hold the canister in one hand and the hose handle in the other, making it easy to reach any area.


The Navigator has a larger dustbin than the Rotator. The Navigator’s dustbin can hold about 2.2 quarts of debris, while the Rotator’s dustbin can only hold 1.3. The dust bins on each model can be emptied from the bottom or top of the canister by opening the latch.


The maintenance needs for both the Shark vacuums are very similar. This includes cleaning the washable filter, replacing the HEPA filter, and clearing the brush roll. Overall, these models have low maintenance costs.

Key Points to Consider

If you’re looking for a vacuum cleaner, it’s essential to check the features carefully. The Shark Navigator and Rotator are both user-friendly and maneuverable. They both have a good turning radius and cleaning head swivel and can reach many areas in the row. They can also be used as upright vacuums. The Navigator is slightly quieter than the Rotator, registering at 77 decibels during our tests. Prices can fluctuate, but the Navigator tends to be less expensive than the Rotator.

Tip: Looking for the perfect wet dry vacuum? Click here for a detailed review of the Tineco iFloor S3 Cordless


So, which vacuum is right for you?

Suppose you have a larger area to clean. In that case, the Shark Navigator is an excellent option with its larger dustbin and lower price point. Suppose you’re looking for a stylish design and helpful features. In that case, the Rotator is perfect – plus, it outperforms the Navigator in our high pile carpet cleaning test.

This shark navigator vs rotator comparison was conducted with the intent of making it as easy as possible for you to choose the best Shark upright vacuum for your needs.

Shahzaib Haider is the go-to website by S. Haider for all things consumer electronics. You can find reviews on new releases and trending gadgets. More importantly, you'll get an insider perspective from someone who knows these devices. S Haider, a banker by profession and a tech enthusiast by evening, has been writing about consumer electronics for over five years now which gives him ample knowledge when it comes down to understanding what users need in their lives today; whether they're looking into buying something new or just want some advice.